I’m a physicist and a Christian. I don’t think I’m particularly unusual. Faith, like everything else is only a useful model of life if it works in practice in my view.
Evidence that Jesus rose from the dead is brilliantly explained in the book Who Moved the Stone? by Frank Morison who approached the situation as a lawyer investigating the witnesses and evidence. For example, taking just one piece of evidence, what happened to the dead body? Had the authorities hidden it or the guards stolen it, they would have produced it immediately the disciples began to preach the resurrection. If the disciples had stolen it, they would have been very unlikely to die for a faith they knew to be a sham, and all bar one of the original disciples was indeed martyred for their faith, many in horrible ways. If Jesus had not actually died, he would have still had major wounds and been unlikely to look like a conqueror of death. Rather he would have needed a long period of recovery. In any case the Romans were experts at killing and unlikely to mistake living for dead. This kind of evidence is compelling once you start to look at it with an open mind and I found it very rationally satisfying.
Having said that as a scientist I wanted to experiment myself with faith so I gave myself six months to believe everything the bible said and to do everything the bible said to do, so I could find out whether it was true or not. Truth for me as a physicist means Does it work? Lots of the bible is written in this style – if you do X, then Y will follow. Pretty easy to test, if you really want to, but obviously you need to believe it completely for those six months, because that is what faith is, then you can look back and see whether it has made a difference. I kept careful lists of what I’d done and what had happened, what I had prayed for or said to God in prayer and what had happened. I found it worked, by which I mean the Y things happened. God proved Himself to me in this way. It was personal to me, but I certainly would not describe it as being an emotional process in any way, shape or form. It was rational and factual. I didn’t feel anything when I prayed, but I spoke out loud and noted it down, read the bible and noted things to do and how God would act to follow that action of mine. Then I compared the bible statement / prediction with what actually happened.
I’d challenge any of you unbelievers out there to try it for yourself and see what conclusions you come to for yourself. I’m on Twitter if you want to keep in touch with me during your experiment.
Can Christ stand the Test?